Friday, 4 January 2013

It's Always More Fun Playing the Bad Guy (or Girl)

I happened to catch this film a few months ago on BBC2 - 'The Falcon in San Francisco' (1945). 

 I wasn't previously aware of it, but it seems to have been part of a series of 'Falcon' movies, starring Tom Conway (brother of George Sanders) as the Falcon, a private detective who gets into hot water, usually involving a girl in peril who he has to save from some baddies. This particular episode was also directed by Joseph H. Lewis, of 'Gun Crazy' and 'The Big Combo' fame.

I was attracted to this one because it was set in my beloved San Francisco, but also because the hair and costumes were great. The villain of the piece - Doreen Temple as played by Fay Helm (thank you, IMDB!) - had some fabulous outfits: 

Total badass!(source)
 In particular, I became obsessed with the neckline on this dress:

 I love its unusual shape, the way it's deep yet narrow, then rises at the neck. Also, notice the way the fullness of the bust is folded into the neckline - so unusual! I could not stop thinking about this neckline and resolved to re-create it. I figured if I combined this pattern:

With part of the neckline of this one:

I'd come up with something similar.

And here it is!

The neckline isn't exactly the same, but it's a pretty good attempt; if I made it again, I'd bring it closer together at the front and tighter around the neck. The fabric is a lightweight rayon with a soft feel and drape, like a washed silk.

 I added the black cord around the neck to give more emphasis to the shape and add a touch of 1940's detailing:

And to add an extra touch of 1940's, I've worn it with my new Miss LFire shoes, a lovely Christmas present from Mr Needles:

'Bonnie' shoes by Miss L Fire
 And that was my Christmas sewing - a dress inspired by a villain. I'm off to hatch some dastardly plans......


  1. All the Falcon movies are great and have some fantastic femme fatale frocks in them. Tom Conway takes over from George Sanders in the series and also plays the Falcon's brother as the original Falcon (GS) is shot

  2. I all ways think it must be more fun to be the villain and Doreen Temple certainly steals the show in her outfits! Your dress is gorgeous you did a great job, I especially love the piping detail! Oh and Miss L Fire shoes....swoon! x


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